A longitudinal study of the contribution of dental experience to dental anxiety in children between the ages of nine and twelve

Murray, Patricia Ann (1987) A longitudinal study of the contribution of dental experience to dental anxiety in children between the ages of nine and twelve. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
    (Original Version)

Abstract

Previous research has indicated that there are several factors contributing to the development of dental anxiety in children. These include child characteristics, environmental influences and elements associated with the dental situation. One area which has not received adequate attention is the influence of dental experience on the dental anxiety reported by pre-adolescents. To examine this relationship more fully, a two part investigation was carried out on a group of school children, distributed equally by sex and presently 12 years of age. Part one, the longitudinal component of the study, assessed the dental anxiety of these children at the ages of 9 and 12 years, with Corah's Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS). Part two involved recording the dental treatment occurring during the intervening three years. This experience was quantified and qualified as follows: total number of dentists, planned visits and emergency visits, regular versus irregular attendance, check-up only versus restoration work and total number of injections, extractions and fillings. Additional factors also demonstrated to be relevant to the etiology of dental anxiety and included in this investigation are, prediction of good behaviour at the dentist, view of peers' attitudes towards going to the dentist, general fearfulness and SES. Results indicated that overall, there was a significant increase in dental anxiety between the ages of 9 and 12 years. Males and females responded differently with females displaying an increase in dental anxiety while males displayed a slight decrease. Dental experience was not a great predictor of this anxiety. The strongest predictor, for both males and females, was the medical fears factor of the Fear Survey Schedule for Children-Revised (FSSC-R), which was used to measure general fearfulness. Implications of these results and suggestions for future research are presented.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5812
Item ID: 5812
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 68-75.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 1987
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Dental care--Utilization; Anxiety in children

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